Kids in the Kitchen: Gazpacho

Yeah, I know. You wanted Underwear Rant #2. I figure I could do a week-long series on women’s underwear, which is scary. But for the weeks that I was down to one functional hand, the kids did a lot of cooking, and they deserve their time in the sun, er kitchen.

A few weeks ago we were going to try living wheat-free (don’t ask, there’s a blog coming that’s devoted to it). So while Snarky Daughter was getting her hair cut, I was putting together a shopping list of all sorts of healthy stuff. Woo-hoo! But it was about 1000 degrees outside and who really wants to cook in that? And then I remembered…a really awesome Californian restaurant from the 70s. You walked in and you had to stop and let your eyes adjust because it was so dark. Dark wood paneling, dark green booths, dark everything. Salesguys went there to close semiconductor chip deals and my mom would meet with big name editors there after work for a drink. People went there at lunch for a drink. I miss the 70s.

Anyway, when the Bay Area hit 105, the Velvet Turtle was the place to go because it was dark and cold. And they had the best gazpacho. They served it in individual servings in glass bowls packed in crushed ice. You could almost see ice crystals on the top of the soup.

Sitting in the hair salon, that’s what I remembered. Heaven on ice.

And it’s healthy, and it doesn’t have wheat, making it a better choice than a maple frosted doughnut or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. And did I mention how awesome ice cold soup would be when it’s 1000 degrees outside and the relative humidity is about 120%?

Snarky Daughter cooks Velvet Turtle Gazpacho
Snarky Daughter “cooking”

Also, you make it in a blender!

Here’s a link to the recipe, which some saint at the LA Times got the Velvet Turtle to give up back in 1981.

Read through it and there’s only one real problem: 1 tsp. seasoning blend. Undaunted, and refusing to believe that might be the key to the soup, we pressed on, assuming that 1 tsp of cumin (thereabouts) and some oregano were what they meant.

As usual, Snarky Daughter was only mildly excited about making dinner, but I was looking totally pitiful with my new, can’t move my thumb or wrist at all brace, so what was she really going to say? Well, she’s mine, so she could have said a lot, but what actually came out of her mouth was, “Uh, sure. I make it in the blender?”

So, this is totally a dump and blend thing. Soup in 20 minutes because you’re obliterating everything in the blender so it’s not like you have to carefully chop the veggies. Then we put it in the freezer for another 20 so it would be ice cold. And we served it with a couple of tortilla chips (corn-based, so I choose to believe they lack wheat), and presto! Summer Dinner!

Both kids and Snarky Roommate liked it. And I went back in time. I wonder what my dad drank when he ate this at the Turtle…


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